French Poem Reading & Analysis - Volume 3
Volume 3: 19th Century Poems - part 2
Structure of the explanations
Each explanation comes with a French transcript and English translation, and consists of 5 parts:
- A slow reading of the poem
- A verse-by-verse explanation of the poem's vocabulary in simple, every-day French
- An overview of the life of the author
- A reachable verse-by-verse explanation of the poem's meaning and images
- A personal and faster reading of the poem
This volume includes the following poems; make sure you check out the other Easy French Poetry volumes.
1. "El Desdichado" De Gerard De Nerval
This is a rather complicated poem, which speaks of French historic characters and refers to legends from France and from Roman and Greek antiquity. Rather dark, yet full of hope, this poem is gorgeous and profound, and one can find a new meaning with each reading.
2. "Le Dormeur Du Val" D'Arthur Rimbaud
This poem, written by the 16-year old Rimbaud, is partially in the classic form but already announces his future avant-garde poems. When he wrote this piece, France was at war with Prussia, and Rimbaud was frequently running away from home and traveling on foot. It is therefore possible that the scene described in the poem is a real scene.
3. "Les Pas" De Paul Valéry
In this classical yet sensual and very musical poem, Valéry describes two people: the "I" who represents the poet (who is in his bed and not sleeping) and a feminine entity who is approaching.
Ghost? Fairy? Or would it be the poet's muse?
4. "Le Pont Mirabeau" De Guillaume Apollinaire
Legend has it that this poem was inspired by the rupture between Apollinaire and the female painter Marie Laurencin, because he had to cross the Mirabeau bridge to go see her. In an ultra-modern form, with short verses, a refrain that repeats throughout the poem like a song, and without punctuation, the poem speaks of the classic themes of the fatality of passing time and the pain of love.
How to work with these poem readings & analyses?
The more you listen to the audio, the more you will understand. The slow reading and explanation of the vocabulary are easier. The life of the author and poem analysis, harder. Concentrate on the part that is best suited for your level and repeat, repeat, repeat.
If you don’t understand something in the audio – even after several repetitions – check the French transcript. Why didn’t you get it? Was it because of the vocabulary or because of the pronunciation? Use the transcript to read out loud, mimicking my pronunciation.
Use it as a last resort, to check the exact meaning of something. These are only some pointers. You know best what you need to work on: understanding faster, working on your linking words, being able to stay focussed over a long recording, or again work on your pronunciation. The uses of these analyses are endless, so find the combination that works best for you. And remember, repetition is the key...
- Target Level:
Intermediate & Advanced
- Audio Duration:
2 hours & 30 minutes
MP3 & PDF Download
- PDF Book:
71 Pages French Analysis with English translation
- Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis
"An incomparable resource that strengthens my graduate-level students own speaking ability" - Lenette Marcello, M.A. Middlebury College French School, USA